Cooking With Kids

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension


Cooking With Kids


The wintertime can be a great time to do some cooking with your kids.  When you are looking for a fun indoor activity that also helps them learn healthy behaviors, turn to cooking or baking healthy meals and snacks.  Here are some age appropriate tasks that children can do to help with the meal or preparing recipes.

3 year olds

Wash fruits and vegetables

Pour measured liquids into bowl

Stir dry ingredients

Tear lettuce

Help set table

4 year olds

Open packages

Get ingredients out of fridge

Peel bananas or oranges

Mash and stir ingredients

Help set table

Spoon our cookies

5 and 6 year olds

Cut soft foods with dull knife

Measure ingredients

Stir mixtures

Set the table

Knead small loaf of bread

7 and 8 year olds

Help plan the meal

Get ingredients out from cupboards and refrigerator.

Prepare salad from cut vegetables. 

Begin to read recipes

Roll and shape cookies

Knead dough for larger bread

9 to 12 year olds

Start to learn how to follow the recipe

Open cans

Use microwave with supervision

Turn on oven to desired temperature

Shred cheese and vegetables

Use small appliances with supervision

Plan a simple meal


Remember that they still need your supervision to ensure that they prepare a safe meal or snack.  Arrange the work area to match the child’s height.  Review stove and oven safety in order to prevent burns.  Keep pot and pan handles towards the back of the stove.  Remind them to wash hands with soap and warm water and that all utensils, dishes, counter tops and cutting boards are clean as well.  Also, don’t cross contaminate cooked foods with raw foods and show them how to use a food thermometer to determine if the foods are cooked to the proper temperature.  For other tips or for more information on making healthy meals and snacks with kids call our office.